Research Paper on Public Health Leadership

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1698 Words
Date:  2022-12-14


Chunharas and Davies (2016) claim that leadership in health systems has to be about systems and behaviors and not individuals. They claim that the role of leadership is to encourage and influence individuals by using multiple action plans to achieve a common objective in the entire health system. Therefore, systems ought to be easily adaptable, and people need to understand them to ensure interaction and motivation has to be established across those factors. Chunharas and Davies have established that create proper leadership in health systems; there is a need for interactive leadership, empowerment of operational leaders, engagement of patients, their families and community groups to participate in health systems leadership, as well as advancing research and development in the area of leadership (WHO, 2016). These conditions will influence leadership behavior in health systems thus influencing the leadership in the public health systems.

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Poor performance in health systems has been linked to failing leadership roles in the health care systems, a study by Mianda & Voce (2017) showed that poor patient outcomes in South African clinics are attributable to poor leadership in the healthcare facilities, especially in the maternal care. The study showed that health care leaders lacked skills which would ensure that every patient has been catered for efficiently. There are cases of negligence which is a negative attribute of leadership and calls for alarm for leadership training and skill development that would ensure proper health care. The study further showed that countries that exhibit high-income rates are performing poorly at health system leadership. Therefore, the research calls for shared responsibility in public health care to ensure all affected parties are well catered for without any leadership failure indicators. Moreover, countries need to develop frontline healthcare systems to promote clinical leadership among frontline healthcare providers (Tweedie & Dacre, 2017). The systems have been implemented in both the United Kingdom and the United States resulting in positive results.

Moodie (2016) presented that the leadership skills required in the healthcare system by showing the importance of leadership training in those systems. First, Moodie proposed vision and decision-making which are essential planning and problem-solving. Also, there is a need for communication and people management to ensure there are advocacy and proper management performance. Moreover, Moodie proposed for technical capacity and emotional intelligence skills which are required to aid in the understanding of the patient. Therefore, healthcare leaders have to be equipped with these skills to facilitate proper management and provision of critical healthcare facilities (Popescu, & Predescu, 2016).

Leadership coaching is very impactful in the development of a strong healthcare system. One hundred sixteen senior clinical nurses were subject to phone call coaching and face to face induction (Cable &Graham, 2018). The study showed that the nurses claimed that there was a need for self-leadership coaching which was the most weakness among the nurses in the public healthcare systems.

A study by Kaack et al. (2018) shows that there is an increasing need for a clinical nurse leader. The clinical nurse leaders are very critical in the transformation of the health systems programs as they are involved in the implementation and development of those programs. Therefore to ensure critical leadership in health administration Kaack et al. (2018) established the need for a clinical nurse leader in the health care systems.

Strengthening management in public health especially at the district level would be important in the improvement of the primary healthcare systems. Management capacity is a leadership role which ensures public health systems are run efficiently and effectively to deliver results (Fetene et al., 2019). Therefore, every health leader has to have management capacity to ensure suitability in the improvement of the primary health care system. Primary health acre utilizes this factor; there is a lot of mismanagement and poor coordination which could strengthen the systems and ensure proper functionality and achievement of results (Edwards et al., 2015).

Consequently, health leadership and management capacity are critical for strengthening and attaining universal health coverage. However, health leadership and management capacity are mostly unavailable in many health systems. Therefore this makes it difficult to achieve universal health coverage. Thus, this calls for leaning which can instill health leadership and management capacity among health practitioners. Learning will create a positive impact on leadership development in the healthcare systems thus ensuring proper services are provided to everyone (Car & Atun, 2017).

Furthermore, in Mulenga, Nzala & Mutale (2018), the evolution of the healthcare environment demands leadership in the healthcare systems. These leaders are expected to deliver on technical as well as managerial functions of leadership in the health. The study used as a cross-sectional analysis which established that leadership is essential in the healthcare system of Zambia, and this would ensure services are done appropriately and effectively. The study showed further that transformational leadership is critical in the healthcare system to ensure the systems are driven towards ensuring proper care and effective management of health systems (Mutale et al., 2017).

Leadership transformation in health systems is a challenging task in public healthcare. There are cultural as well as organizational challenges which inhibit this transformation in the health system. There need to evaluate the leadership styles and establish leadership skills training to equip healthcare leaders with skills which are essential for the organization and development of health systems. Therefore, in primary care, health leaders need to have leadership style and develop soft skills which are critical for collaborative working. Therefore, the health system will be established and will ensure the growth in primary care (Hunter, 2017).

Healthcare leadership involves the behavior of individuals in the view of achieving a common or shared goal. Healthcare professionals need to cope up with the change to influence leadership in the healthcare systems (Al-Sawai, 2013). According to this perspective, leadership cannot remain constant but slightly changes as time move by. Therefore, health leaders have to adapt to this change in the health systems to prevent dilution and incongruence. Also, to instill better leadership in the healthcare systems, the leaders have to enforce transformational leadership, collaborative leadership, conflict management, shared leadership, distributed leadership, and functional results-oriented leadership. These leaderships when develop ensure that the system is all around and can achieve all the objectives set forth while ensuring a proper health care system for patients (Kwamie, 2015). Moreover, leader transformation needs to be based on culture, values, abilities and the context of the organization to set the pace for effective leadership and management of healthcare systems (Daly et al., 2014).

Theoretical Gaps

There are no established theories about public health systems which can be adapted to create proper healthcare systems leadership. Leadership style and organization culture are common business leadership theories. Therefore, this brings a critical area in the health care system leadership to research and investigate clinical theories of leadership intensively. By doing so, there will be a primary base for establishing healthcare leadership which could help in the rectification of the health care system.

Also, a research gap exists in the area of health systems leadership training. Some authors like Moodie (20160 emphasize on leadership skills training of individuals whereas, in Chunharas & Davies (2016), they propose for behavioral system leadership. Therefore, this shows a lack of cohesion in what should be done to improve leadership in the healthcare systems. These areas create a research gap where researchers need to identify the specific issue that should be considered in developing healthcare systems leadership (Blake, Mouton, Barnes, & Greiner, 1964). However, their cases where leadership training do not concur for example the study by Cable & Graham (2018) calls for self-leadership coaching whereas Daly et al. (2014) clams the need for collaborative leadership. In the prior study, individual nurses were investigated claiming the need for self-leadership training.

Problem Statement

Leadership in the healthcare system is at high risk of failure. There are no cohesive definitions of healthcare leadership nor any theory of healthcare leadership. Therefore, the systems of leadership are only but based on the contemporary management theories of leadership in terms of leadership styles and organizational culture. Moreover, the recommended leadership training may not impact significantly on healthcare leaders, but there is enough room to improve the healthcare system leadership situation. Most of the studies done are meta-analysis and systematic reviews which calls for primary research in the area of clinical leadership. Therefore, this research is tailored to address the issues of healthcare leadership training and the development of healthcare leadership theory.

Overdependence on the business leadership and management theories have not positively influenced leadership in the healthcare system. By focusing on the health care sector, it should be easier to find out exactly the relationship between clinical leadership training and health care systems leadership (Borkowski, Deckard, Weber, Padron, & Luongo, 2011). Moreover, it would be easier to establish primary research findings on the areas that need to be addressed to ensure a cohesive stream of healthcare leadership. Therefore the study will evaluate the relationship between healthcare systems leadership training and healthcare system theory application and how they have been critical in establishing healthcare leadership. The study will involve a qualitative research design in which focused group data will be collected on clinical leadership training and the impact of clinical leadership theories to establish the relationship.

How the Study will Impact Social Change

The study identifies health system leadership theory and training as significant challenges that have to be addressed. The study intends to develop new findings which will be applied directly in the health systems to instill leadership and transformation for healthcare management. The knowledge is going to change the mindset of clinical leaders and equip them clinical leadership skills; the training will be advanced to all individuals involved, that is, medical practitioners, patients, politicians, and community groups. The skills will drive social change as the healthcare subsystem leadership would be made available to every individual to ensure a systematic transition and adoption of healthcare leadership. Another social impact is that leadership roles will be strengthened leading to improved healthcare systems, and this would even add to the development of a proper primary healthcare system for everyone in the country. A clinical, organizational culture will be established which will ensure everyone is involved and aware of what needs to be done to influence health system leadership.


Al-Sawai, A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: where do we stand?. Oman medical journal, 28(4), 285.


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